225. LIFES RICH PAGEANT by R.E.M.
Released in 1986, this fourth record by alternative rock band R.E.M (previously covered here) served as somewhat of a transition from their strictly college rock leanings to something more accessible by a wider audience. Lead singer Michael Stipe continues with his cryptic lyrics, but this time they are propelled along by a tighter, rockier rythym section, particularly Bill Berry's drumming (maybe that's why he's featured on the album cover...well, half of him anyway).
This is another record that falls within my all time favorites list, so I'm super excited to share these songs off of it with you all: 'Fall On Me' is an absolute must as your starting point, though one should put aside trying to decide what the song is really about and, instead, revel in the dual vocals between Stipe and bassist Mike Mills. I would then go to the lead off track, 'Begin the Begin' and it's unmistakable opening guitar riff. 'The Flowers Of Guatemala' will slow things down a bit until you reach 'Swan Swan H' - a sort of American Civil War-type dirge.